Wednesday 11 December 2013

Bible Book:

"Turn to me and be saved, all the end of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." (v. 22)

Isaiah 45:14-25 Wednesday 11 December 2013


In the book of Isaiah, God has reiterated again and again toIsrael the unique relationship they have with the Eternal One whohas created them and sustains them, and the divine purpose of theirfreedom and salvation from exile through the leadership of Cyrushas been outlined. Now, though, the prophet explains moreexplicitly the full scope of God's purpose.

The special place the Lord holds for Israel is not to be an end initself, but an illustration of the relationship that God longs forwith all humanity, and the means by which this will be achieved.God is affirmed as creator of the heavens and the earth, with thepurpose that it would be inhabited (verse 18). The invitation tofreedom and salvation is offered universally to those that inhabitthe earth (verse 20). But Israel's unique relationship with God isaffirmed, since it is the acknowledgment of the nature of theEternal One in the midst of idolatry that forms the basis forIsrael's faithful witness to the world (verse 19). God's electionof Israel is thus instrumental to the divine purpose for thesalvation of the world: in a similar way that Cyrus is to be usedby God for Israel's restoration, so Israel will be used for theoffering of salvation to "all the ends of the earth". Whatever thereception of this offer of grace, there will be an ultimaterecognition of the divine nature, when "every knee shall bow, [and]every tongue shall swear" (v. 23) and even those in opposition toGod shall acknowledge that only in the Lord "are righteousness andstrength" (v. 24) to be found. It is a reflection of the honourthat God affords to the nation of Israel that its name now comes tosignify all those "offspring" who triumph and glory in the Lord(verse 25).

To Ponder

  • Who are the people whom God has used as instruments for freedomand salvation in your life?
  • John Wesley described salvation as "the entire work of God,from the first dawning of grace in the soul, till it is consummatedin glory" (Sermon 43: The scripture way of salvation). Whatwords might you use to describe the idea of salvation to friends orfamily for whom the concept or the word is unfamiliar?
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